Deconstructing the Posterior Medial Episodic Network

Trends Cogn Sci. 2020 Jun;24(6):451-465. doi: 10.1016/j.tics.2020.03.006. Epub 2020 Apr 24.


Our ability to remember or imagine specific events involves the construction of complex mental representations, a process that engages cortical and hippocampal regions in a core posterior medial (PM) brain network. Existing theoretical approaches have described the overarching contributions of the PM network, but less is known about how episodic content is represented and transformed throughout this system. Here, we review evidence of key functional interactions among PM regions and their relation to the core cognitive operations and representations supporting episodic construction. Recent demonstrations of intranetwork functional diversity are integrated with existing accounts to inform a network-based model of episodic construction, in which PM regions flexibly share and manipulate event information to support the variable phenomenology of episodic memory and simulation.

Keywords: functional connectivity; hippocampus; imagery; medial temporal lobes; parietal cortex; recollection.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain
  • Brain Mapping*
  • Hippocampus
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Memory, Episodic*
  • Mental Recall